Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you flip the switch to turn on your heating system when the weather gets cold and it won’t start, common furnace problems can affect your home at any moment.
Regardless of the issue, learning how your heating system works and a little bit about some frequent furnace problems is vital in deciding whether you can troubleshoot on your own or if you need professional assistance. By watching the furnace's behavior, listening for peculiar noises and checking for signs of damage or blockage, you can narrow down the possible causes.
If you're unsure about the problem or aren't equipped with the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a professional HVAC company like Tru Air Systems LLC. We can accurately pinpoint the issue and execute the required repairs or maintenance, so we can get your furnace up and running ASAP.
Here's more about what causes a furnace to leak water and eight other frequent heating issues:
1. My Furnace Is Leaking Water
A furnace can leak water for a number of reasons. One possibility is a condensate leak, where the water released during the combustion process is not completely draining away. This might be due to a plugged condensate drain line or a malfunctioning condensate pump. Another potential cause of water leakage from a furnace is a cracked heat exchanger, which can lead to water—as well as dangerous gases—leaking out of the furnace.
It is necessary to address water leaks immediately to prevent further damage to your furnace. Reaching out to a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Tru Air Systems LLC is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue successfully.
2. My Furnace Blows Cold Air/Lack of Heat
Some possible causes for a furnace blowing cold air or not blowing hot air are a malfunctioning thermostat, a problem with the pilot light or ignition system, a blocked air filter, or a malfunctioning heating element. It also may be your furnace is overheating and shutting off as a safety precaution.
If your furnace will not blow hot air, it's a good idea to contact a skilled HVAC technician to diagnose and fix the problem. They can give an accurate assessment and advise you on the correct solution.
3. My Furnace Can't Keep Up
A common reason your furnace isn’t keeping up on a cold day is that your home lacks insulation, which can result in heat loss and lower efficiency. Another reason your furnace is falling short is because it’s not big enough for your home, so it can’t produce enough heat to completely warm the space. A defective thermostat or ductwork problems can also cause uneven heating.
To handle this, first look at your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to keep warm air in and cold air out of your home. Also, look at the thermostat to ensure it’s set right and the batteries aren’t dead.
If the problem lingers, consider contacting an experienced HVAC company, such as Tru Air Systems LLC, who can inspect your system, determine the root cause and provide solutions such as furnace replacement, repairing ductwork or changing your thermostat settings.
4. My Furnace Isn't Running at All
If your furnace is not working, there are a couple of steps you can take to troubleshoot before phoning a heating specialist. Ensure the thermostat is set correctly and the batteries are fresh. If the furnace still doesn't power on, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to make sure power is reaching the system.
If there is power but your furnace won't ignite, the problem may rest with the ignition system or gas supply. In that case, it's best to consult an experienced HVAC professional for diagnosis and repair.
5. My Furnace Turns On and Off
If your furnace is short cycling, that means it is turning on and off frequently at short intervals as opposed to running in regular cycles like it is designed to do. This can result in inefficiency, higher energy bills and potential damage to your heating system.
If you believe your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to look at your unit’s air filter. Filters should be exchanged regularly to ensure air flow, so if your furnace air filter is plugged with dirt you should exchange it for a clean one—and make sure it is pointing in the right direction. Next, check your thermostat and look to see if it’s set right and the batteries are good.
If those two things don’t work, it’s smart to call experts like the team at Tru Air Systems LLC. Prompt professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and prevent more complications and high energy bills.
6. My Furnace Hums All the Time
Whenever your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is an indication of an issue with the electrical components or the blower motor. Therefore, if you hear your furnace making a humming noise, it is crucial to take action.
If the noise doesn't go away, it is a good idea to get in touch with a professional HVAC technician.
7. My Furnace Is Making a Loud Noise
If your furnace is making a consistent loud noise, it's important to deal with the issue promptly to prevent further damage or potential safety risks. One common reason is a malfunctioning blower motor or fan, which can make a grinding or screeching sound. Another possible cause is a loose or worn-out belt that may produce a squealing or rattling noise.
Because of the complexity of furnace systems and potential risks involved, it's safer to consult with a heating and cooling specialist.
8. My Furnace Won't Start
If your furnace won't turn on, make sure the thermostat is set to the desired temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are functioning. Then, verify that the circuit breaker or fuse that goes to the furnace is functioning properly. If these basic checks don't address the problem, you can examine the furnace's power switch or emergency shutoff switch to make sure they're in the "on" position and weren’t accidentally turned off.
If those steps don’t get the job done, call an expert for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Is on but Not Igniting
Similar to a furnace not turning on at all, a furnace that isn’t igniting can be caused by a clogged air filter or a tripped circuit breaker. So, checking the air filter and assessing your circuit breakers are a good place to start.
Other potential causes of a furnace not igniting include a faulty igniter or malfunctioning flame sensor. Indications of these include the furnace continuously attempting to ignite without success, no heat production or the furnace is making a burning or gas smell. Both of these issues can be very easily repaired by HVAC professionals like the team at Tru Air Systems LLC.